Sunderland Foundation of Light Monkwearmouth 4-2 Oxford United F&E Academy

Defending NFYL Trophy winners Sunderland FoL Monkwearmouth got one step closer to retaining the cup after a dramatic extra-time win against Oxford United F&E Academy.

Sunderland looked to be heading out the competition until a last-gasp equaliser from Max Sansom took the game to extra-time where goals from Arron Thompson, Max Nelson and Harry Johnson saw the holders through to the next round.

The first half saw both teams come close with Oxford forcing a goal-line clearance from the Black Cats and Leon McKeith testing the opposition keeper but the score remained 0-0.

Oxford broke the deadlock early in the second half after a deflected shot beat keeper Ross Cunningham in the 51st minute.

Sunderland dominated for most of the second half but struggled to take their chances with both Aaron Duell and Alex Ramshaw missing opportunities to level the score.

The equaliser finally came in the 89th minute after substitute Sansom curled a shot into the top corner forcing the game into extra-time.

Five minutes in Oxford went back in front after some sloppy defending.

To add to the drama, Sunderland were awarded a 100th-minute controversial penalty after a slide tackle deflected off an Oxford arm.

Thompson’s penalty was tipped onto the post, but he was able put away the rebound to make it 2-2.

Halftime of extra-time saw, even more, drama as the Oxford manager received a red card for arguing with the referee about the penalty decision.

The home side stepped it up in the final 15 minutes of the game with the decisive moment coming from defender Nelson after a scramble in the box set him up to make it 3-2.

Sunderland confirmed their place in the next round when Johnson scored with a close-range finish from just inside the box.

Head coach Jamie Chandler praised the perseverance of his team saying he was “proud the boys never gave up” and that the extra-time scenario reminded him of last year’s cup final win.

The NFYL Trophy success at the Stadium of Light earlier this year will still be fresh in the minds of the team as they look for more cup magic.

By Sam Johnson, Adam Smith and Alex Baxter